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QUAKE GIVES TEXANS AN AWAKENING

The most violent earthquake to hit Texas in 60 years jolted residents who didn't believe their wild, remote region was susceptible to temblors.

The magnitude-5.6 quake, which lasted 15 to 20 seconds Thursday night, caused two minor injuries, some structural damage and triggered a few small fires. It was centered about 20 miles outside of Alpine, a town of 6,000 people 190 miles southeast of El Paso.Alpine residents ran from their homes and cars, some screaming in confusion. "The streets were lined with people," paramedic Mike Scudder said. "It looked a parade."

The quake was felt as far east as San Antonio, 315 miles from Alpine, and as far north as Roswell, N.M., 215 miles away, according to the National Earthquake Information Center.

"It really rocked my RV, and it weighs seven tons," said Joseph Delaney of Alpine. "It really bounced me up in the air. I've never experienced anything like that in this part of the world."

A heavy volume of telephone calls and possible damage to equipment made communications difficult in a wide area of west Texas.

"You wonder what's happening at first and it finally dawns on you, `Heck, we're having an earthquake,' " said Alpine police dispatcher Paul Brown.

It was the biggest quake in Texas since Aug. 16, 1931, when a 6.0-magnitude shaker struck Valentine, about 50 miles west of Alpine.